Trying to be more sustainable: beauty swaps

There has been a major shift, noticeably in the last 12 months, where human impact on the planet is under the microscope and individuals, organisations and governments have to answer for their actions.

Single-use plastic is a major contributor to environmental damage and although I feel guilty if I have to buy a plastic bottle of water (if I forget my reusable bottle), I can’t say I have the same level of guilt when looking in my bathroom cupboard.

My products give me joy (Marie Kondo-style) but recently I’ve been making conscious decisions to be more environmentally friendly.

Reusable cotton pads. I use cotton pads for everything: removing makeup, removing mascara, applying toner, taking off nail polish and the list goes on. Which means I go through a lot of packs (at least 1 a month). So when I was recently in Holland & Barrett I came across their ‘sustainability’ section and saw reusable cotton pads. Sold in a travel bag of 6, they are a zero-waste alternative made of organic cotton. Once you use them, put them in the bag and throw them in the wash. In the beginning I constantly went to throw them in the bin out of habit and to be honest 6 is not enough. They weren’t cheap (£8) however Amazon sells 21 organic bamboo cotton pads for £13.99 and I recently went to TK Maxx and found some Ecotools sponges and muslin cloths as well as some bio-cotton make up removers from a brand called Daily Concepts. The tagline is great- ‘Individuals who think in the shower‘ and they’re focused on creating innovative products whilst minimising the environmental impact.

Recycling products correctly. I can honestly put my hand up and say I have not always recycled my beauty products because I (lazily) throw them in the bathroom bin and don’t differentiate. But, thanks to L’Occitane’s initiative in partnership with Terracycle, you can now take any empty beauty products to one of their stores and they will recycle it for you as well as give you 10% off to spend in store. More info about the initiative is here.

Switch shampoo bottles for bars. This is next on my list to purchase: a shampoo bar. Same form as a bar of soap you would use for your hands, this is designed to replace the bottle of shampoo in your shower (as well as the added chemicals, parabens, sulfates etc which are in formulas). I haven’t yet decided which one I’m going to go for but Holland & Barrett, Lush and SpaceNK all stock different options. The Evening Standard also did a good overview of what’s currently on the market (in the UK).

Buy less. The most obvious switch to make is to resist the urge to buy every new release and cult product out there. For one thing, I will have a better opinion of products as I will have used everything right up until the last drop. Also, my skin will probably freak out less with all the chopping and changing it’s used to.

Although the above are small changes, if more people adopt them, then the greater the impact.

Would love to know what other people are doing to be more sustainable or what changes you’ve made- leave your comments below!

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